I’m a little tired of writing about my head (so I can only imagine how tired everyone else is…) so, in vacation mode, I’m going to go in a different direction. I’ve mentioned yoga nidra in another post, but for me there is a healing connection as well as the spiritual.
When I first encountered yoga nidra and saw it billed as “sleep” yoga with the claim that 15 minutes of yoga nidra equals two hours of sleep*, I was really more intrigued with the possibility that I could improve my situation with chronic fatigue than I was with the spiritual benefits that I quickly recognized (see other post). So many years, so much exhaustion… If a 45 minute yoga tape could give me the equivalent of six more hours of sleep I figured that could only be a good thing.
I could never really decide whether I thought it replaced that much sleep, but boy I sure felt better. And after a while the daily practice left me feeling so much better than I had to quit doing it after 5 pm because then I’d be so full of energy and so wide awake that I couldn’t get to sleep.
By the time the year was up my overall energy level was much improved. I eventually shifted the yoga nidra time to practicing the Eight Key Breaths, the Five Tibetan Rites and Flying Crane Chi Gung (see previous post for discussion) and they kept that energy level up. When I come out here to California and see old friends I get comments like, “you’ve never had so much chi since I’ve known you,” and “you’re really well now, aren’t you?” I can’t claim that it only came from yoga nidra but when I really decided to take healing into my own hands that practice had a big impact.
There are a lot of things you can do to build energy but if you have any issues of exhaustion, whether from an illness like chronic fatigue or just from not enough sleep, I highly recommend yoga nidra. There are lots of variations and many tapes don’t have the complete yoga nidra. I have a few of those but I don’t find that they’re as effective. The one I use is Swami Janakananda’s recording. There’s a 45 minute version –which I think takes you much deeper and gives your body more rest– and a 20 minute version that is a nice break if you have a short amount of time. Give yourself a little rest.
*There seem to be many variations — another says 30 minutes equals 3 hours and there are more.